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“Not a great message” – Super League CEO calls out IMG over impending London Broncos relegation

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A Super League CEO has claimed that it doesn’t send a “great message” for London Broncos to be in the situation of facing near-certain relegation, regardless of their results, as he discussed how to ensure Rugby League continues to develop in the capital.

London Broncos upset the odds to earn promotion to Super League last year with the capital’s side winning the Championship Grand Final from fifth place, winning three away playoff matches on the spot to secure improbable promotion. At one point in the season, the Broncos had looked more likely to go down than even make the playoffs, such was the unexpected nature of their return to Super League.

Because of the late surge to the top flight, London Broncos were not able to prepare a team of Super League quality which meant they were in for a tough 2024 campaign if they were to survive relegation. That mission was made nigh impossible though when their IMG grading was revealed to be a low B, ranking 24th of the 35 professional clubs and almost certain to be relegated.

As it currently stands, London Broncos be relegated under the traditional system of promotion and relegation with the Broncos two points behind Hull FC, but it’s the hopelessness of the situation that has frustrated many and now it’s been revealed that Wigan Warriors CEO Kris Radlinski is one of those.

Does Super League need London Broncos?

Super League disciplinary London Broncos

Credit: Imago Images

Kris Radlinski has spoken about London’s plight whilst appearing on The Eddie and Stevo Podcast this week discussing a range of things but ultimately underlining the fact London is a huge market needing to be tapped into.

He’d go on to argue that he doesn’t think their current status and expected relegation is a “great message” but more pressing was the lack of strategy.

Radlinski argued: “I think the reality is that there were areas which were highlighted as things that we need to look after and London was one of them and I don’t know what the strategy is for London at this moment.

“They all say that we need a team in London, we need a successful club in London. If you speak to the guys from the Rugby League World Cup Committee, they’ll say that the number of people who bought tickets from London is more than anywhere in the country so we have to have that.”

In 2022 the Rugby League World Cup Semi-Final match between England and Samoa took place at The Emirates in England and registered a crowd of 43,119 which highlights the passion for the sport that exists in the city.

More recently, London Broncos registered their highest Super League attendance in 14 years as they hosted St Helens at The Stoop.

“We can’t afford to waste it” – Kris Radlinski urges for a plan to help keep London in Super League

London Broncos Hakim Miloudi

Credit: Imago Images

Radlinski would go on to explain that he’s a big believer in London Broncos and particularly their head coach Mike Eccles, however, their impending relegation clearly wasn’t something that set well with him.

He explained: “I don’t think it’s a great message and whatever way possible in which we can support them then I know our club would and I know my owner would but we’ve got to find whatever that way is.

“We as a club believe in London, Ian took a game there many many years ago and it is probably hard to plan for London at this moment in time. They were never going to be able to recruit for this year in that period of time.

“What I would say is that I think Mike Eccles is doing a pretty wonderful job and he speaks so well and I hope we find an opportunity to keep them engaged and keep them within touching distance or within Super League at some point because we can’t afford to waste it.”

Recently London Broncos lost 36-0 to Wigan Warriors in the game before the international break with the capital’s club set to face Leeds Rhinos next before hosting Castleford Tigers, two games that Mike Eccles might earmark as winnable.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    June 29, 2024 at 7:43 pm

    Seems to be an awful lot of people whining about IMG, all from clubs that actually voted the system in? How about voting against it in the first place?

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